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'Terrific role model' retires after 30 years as LD nurse


One of Leicestershire’s most experienced nurses has retired after a 30-year career in healthcare without a single day off sick.

Last month, Tina Kirk retired from her role managing three short-break homes for people with learning disabilities at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust.

Throughout her career, the registered learning disabilities and mental health nurse, has provided care for hundreds of people with complex and challenging needs.

“I have a real passion for nursing and I like to keep busy”

Tina Kirk

Apart from 12 weeks’ maternity leave in 1990, she has an unbroken working record since starting nursing.

“I am genuinely never ill,” she said. “I have a real passion for nursing and I like to keep busy. I have never had a role I didn’t like.”

Jules Galbraith, head of learning disability and complex care services at the trust, described Ms Kirk as a “terrific role model”.

“She is a caring, compassionate nurse who at all times has maintained the utmost respect for her patients and staff alike,” she said.

Ms Kirk started out working as a care home assistant before taking the first step into nursing by applying for a job as a nursing assistant.

She went on to gain a first class nursing degree and served for a decade as a professional conduct committee panel member for the Nursing and Midwifery Council, sitting on hearings in Belfast, Cardiff, London and Edinburgh.

During her career, she played a key role in the shift from ward-based to community care, and managed a number of community homes for people with learning disabilities.

She helped develop a service for people with challenging behaviour and launched a practice development unit to establish new quality standards for learning disability residential services, which were accredited by De Montfort University

In 2008 Ms Kirk opened and managed the trust’s Agnes Unit, which provides inpatient care for adults with learning disabilities who also have complex, ongoing mental health problems.


Readers' comments (5)

  • Happy retirement, Tina but with a record like yours, doubt that you'll just put your feet up!

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  • David Dickinson

    I could have done with Tina on the NMC panel of my recent case when a rogue NHS trust referred me after I forced two internal inquiries and stopped not just bad seclusion practices but particularly abusive examples involving learning disabled people.
    Unfortunately the NMC decided to side with the trust and found me guilty of successfully stopping one particular abuse without the permission of the victim despite having previously reported it at length.
    With a not dissimilar career of commissioning specialist services both in the NHS and private sector I am not looking forward to retirement but to any work I can find. My case is described on my twitter blog.

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  • Happy retirement Tina.
    After 30 years in Health Care you surely earn my respect even though I don't know you.

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  • Happy retirement Tina, well deserved. I am retiring too, my last day before A/L is tomorrow, 41 yrs in all, the last 24 in Stroke Care. Can't say I've never been off sick though, although my record is good, so very well done!

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  • Tina, if you were a such a great success at work the chances are you also will be in retirement!

    We should all aim to be excellent role models which would help to resolve many of the interpersonal problems in nursing.

    You will be clearly be missed by your patients and colleagues however, now it is time to concentrate on You!

    Enjoy to the full, Tina, and continued good health and good luck with all of your retirement projects.

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